Sunday, August 1, 2010

Peter Lawton is the Chief Scientist for this 2010 CCGS Hudson mission. He has been a Research Scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) since 1989, working on invertebrate fisheries and marine biodiversity research problems. His own research emphasises the linkage of marine ecological and marine geological approaches in the description and analysis of seabed habitat structure, in connection with habitat suitability and sensitivity for commercial invertebrates, such as lobsters, and for seabed biological assemblages. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Centre for Marine Biodiversity, and Co-Principal Investigator for the Gulf of Maine Area Program of the Census of Marine Life. Starting in 2004 he has been coordinating a program of collaborative research focussed on the Gulf of Maine Discovery Corridor, working with researchers and graduate students from several Canadian universities, and with other DFO researchers. He led two previous Hudson missions to the offshore portions of the corridor, and also conducts coastal research investigations using SCUBA diving approaches, and seabed video systems deployed from smaller research vessel platforms.

“The Hudson missions in 2009 and 2010 form one of the major contributions of DFO to the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe). I am one of three DFO researchers that have responsibility for helping to coordinate departmental contributions to this innovative Canadian national marine biodiversity research network. It has been a real privilege to help provide significant opportunities for the next generation of Canadian marine scientists to conduct leading-edge research in what are still, essentially, frontier and largely unexplored areas of the marine environment. Coordinating the diverse elements of the corridor research program, which spans everything from microbial ecology to marine mammal and seabird studies remains a significant challenge, but we are making significant progress towards our eventual goal of making this one of the best described ocean spaces, extending as it does from the intertidal to the continental shelf break.”